Five lawyers led by Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF) have petitioned the Law Association of Zambia to call for an extra-ordinary general meeting at which they wish to propose a vote of no confidence in the entire 16-member LAZ Council.

And LAZ, through its honorary secretary Sashi Nchito Kateka has set Saturday April 29, 2017 as date for the proposed meeting to allow debate for the removal of the current executive.

According to petitioners: KBF, Tutwa Ngulube, Robson Malipenga, Terrence Mwape Chabu and Kondwani Musukwa, the LAZ Council has failed to discharge its mandate.

“We the undersigned members of the Law Association of Zambia do hereby request your Council to convene an extra-ordinary general meeting, pursuant to section 8 (3) of the Law Association of Zambia (general rules) 1996. The objective of the extra ordinary general meeting shall be to debate and adopt a motion of no confidence against the current Council and office bearers of LAZ,” the petition read.

The petitioners went ahead to list the grounds under which they sought to vote out the Linda Kasonde-led LAZ executive.

LAZ logo
LAZ logo

“1. The Council acted outside the mandate of LAZ when it appointed Mr Musa Mwenye SC to Act on behalf of Mr Nchima Nchito SC in a matter where Mr Nchima Nchito SC has been charged with impersonation; and 2. The Council has failed to discharge its mandate to (a) advance the rule of law: (i) in that the Council has decided to join the High Court of Zambia case involving the liquidation of The Post Newspapers Ltd as amicus curiae and has proceeded to question the integrity of the court without due regard to procedure; and (ii) on account of the Councils selective approach to condemning members of the public who seek to undermine the courts and bring the judiciary and administration of justice in Zambia into contempt and ridicule; (b) advance the reform of the law by initially refusing to participate in activities to support the referendum on the Bill of Rights; (c) provide a means by which all lawyers can participate fully and effectively in the development of society and its institutions because of the lack of or inadequate consultation of the general membership in taking unprecedented decisions which actions has fostered divisions in LAZ,” read the petition signed on March 31, 2017.

“3. The acts and omissions as set out above have been detrimental to LAZ and its standing in society. We the undersigned request that the extra-ordinary general meeting precedes the Annual General Meeting. We further request that pursuant to section 8 (16) of the Law Association of Zambia (general rules) 1996, the motion be voted upon by way of poll.”

In response to the petitioner’s proposal, LAZ has allowed the extra ordinary general meeting to be held at Radisson Blu next Saturday.

“It is hereby given that an extra ordinary general meeting of the members of the Law Association of Zambia will be held on Saturday, 29th April 2017 at Radisson Blu Hotel in the ball room, Lusaka at 08:00 hours… To consider a motion of no confidence in the entire LAZ Council as requested by Mr Terrence Mwape Chabu, Mr Kondwani Musukwa, Mr Kelvin Fube Bwalya, Mr Robson Malipenga and Honourable Tutwa Ngulube,” read the notice signed on April 19, 2017.

LAZ President Linda Kasonde: File picture
LAZ President Linda Kasonde

The LAZ executive has come under pressure, mostly from the ruling party, on grounds that it is siding with opposition political parties in its decisions, an accusation which Kasonde has described as unfair.

Last month, Kasonde sent an alert to LAZ members to stay away from the secretariat in Lusaka’s Rhodes Park area following a raid by weapon-wielding PF cadres. The PF cadres were demanding the dissolution of the Law Association of Zambia which they accuse of taking an anti-government position on various matters.

Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo later told Parliament, on the request of the Speaker, that the protest against LAZ was illegal because the protesters did not have a permit.